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                 Phonics at Chartham




Our children learn to read using systematic synthetic phonics and we follow the DfES Letters and Sounds programme in daily lessons throughout Key Stage 1 (see details below). This learning is enriched using schemes such as Jolly Phonics and Phonics Play where class teachers feel it is appropriate.

Phonics is the link between letters (graphemes) and the sounds they make (phonemes), and is taught from EYFS through to Year Two. 

Letters and Sounds is taught in phases, the programme starts very basically with individual letter sounds, and gradually increases in complexity as the lessons move forward.

Children learn that a sound can be made up of more than one letter (grapheme). They are shown various ways of making one sound and are given the opportunity, through games and word play, to find out common spelling patterns. Words from the current lesson of learning are put into context through sentences to help combine their understanding and add relevance to their learning. Phonics is the tool for decoding (reading) and encoding (writing) in the early years of learning. It can also be useful to children with some literacy difficulties and  those learning English as a second language.


At the end of Year 1 each pupil will take part in a Phonics Screening Check in order to see if they have reached a required standard. 



                                Letters and Sounds

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic to children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

There are six overlapping phases. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance.


Phase One (Nursery/Reception)Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.
Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeksLearning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeksThe remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the “simple code”, i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four

4 to 6 weeks

(Year 1)

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)Now we move on to the “complex code”. Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.



If you would like to clarify how each sound is spoken so that you can support your child at home, have a look at the link below:






Some more useful websites for practising phonics with your child:

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